Berhampur, August 11 (LocalWire): In a move towards exerting pressure on the state government, hundreds of people staged a rally here, to demand scheduled caste (SC) status and implementation of the 2007 recommendation of the Misra Commission.
The christen population, mostly from southern Odisha districts had convened under the banner of National Council of Dalit Christians (NCDC) and also submitted a memorandum to the revenue divisional commission, southern division addressed to the President Ram Nath Kovind.
“While the central government had granted the scheduled caste status to Dalit Sikhs and Buddhists in 1956 and 1990 respectively, it has been dilly-dallying on the issue of granting the SC status to Dalit Christians,” NCDC state unit president Prafulla Kumar Lima said.
“This despite the fact that National Commission for Linguistic and Religious Minorities’ Commission headed by Justice Ranganath Misra had strongly recommended it,” he stated.
The Misra Commission had recommended in 2007 that the Para 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) order 1950, which originally restricted the SC net to the Hindus and later opened it to Sikhs and Buddhists, should be wholly deleted by the appropriate action so as to completely de-link the SC status from religion and make the SC net fully religion-neutral like in case of the scheduled tribes,” he pointed out.
Other commissions like National SC/ST Commission headed by Elay Perumal, Kaka Kalekar Commission, and the Mandal Commission had recommended that the central government should provide constitutional rights to the Dalit Christians which has been denied under Para 3 of Presidential Order 1950, he said.
“We demanded implementation of Mishra commission recommendation to confer the SC status to Dalit Christians and to remove the Presidential order, 1950 Para-3 to give justice to Dalit Christians by suitable amendment of the constitution,” Lima stated.
“Due to the discriminatory attitude of the government, around 22 million Dalit Christians across the country, including 20 lakh in Odisha were deprived of availing benefits of various government schemes, NCDC secretary Acharya Bikash Vardhan said.